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Microsoft Appoints Sarah Bond As The New President Of Xbox, Making Her The First Black Woman In The Role At A Major Gaming Company

Microsoft has appointed a new leader to take charge of the future of one of the top brands it owns.

Nov 1, 2023

This Eight-Year-Old Wanted An Xbox — So, He Filled Out A Job Application To Make It Happen

Elementary student Nash Johnson was hoping to purchase an Xbox. So, he found a clever way to apply for a job.

Nov 14, 2022

Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers, Xbox Open A State-Of-The-Art Gaming Lab Inspiring Kids To Dream Big

Xbox and the Los Angeles Lakers are expanding their partnership to inspire the next generation of athletes. In its latest efforts, it was announced that Xbox and NBA athlete Dwight Howard renovated the Boys & Girls Club of San Fernando Valley, which will house the program’s Dream Space. Kids are welcomed to enjoy the multi-purpose gaming lab featuring new artwork, custom purple and gold Xbox Series S consoles, gaming PCs, and screens.

Mar 3, 2022

Journalist Roland Martin Launches Free Streaming Network Dedicated To Culturally Relevant Content

For over a decade, seasoned journalist Roland Martin has voraciously served daily news to the Black community on #RolandMartinUnfiltered, and he’s ready to take things to new heights with his next venture. Since its inception, the daily news show has “generated nearly 509 million views and more than 1.5 billion minutes watched,” a press release states. Now, Martin realizes that there is a need to provide the Black community with content driven by their concerns. With that said, the award-winning journalist has recently announced the debut of the Black Star Network on the third anniversary of #RolandMartinUnfiltered. “We’ve proven over the last three years that Black women, men and children desire culturally relevant content from a Black-owned media company. We have traveled all over the country covering a variety of big news stories, and Black Star Network will allow us to further expand our footprint,” Martin said in a press release. The network features an array of Black news and...

Sep 9, 2021

StatusPRO Raises $5.2M Seed Round As It Aims To Continue Shaping The Industry Of Sports Technology

When it comes to sports and technology, StatusPRO not only gets it right but encourages others to see just how significant technology is to the sports industry and vice versa. As athletes, founders Andrew “Hawk” Hawkins and Troy Jones know the importance of using technology to make training more efficient for sports professionals across the nation. The company marries technology and sports by combining player data, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR) to design a suite of training and gaming products. Now, they can continue to execute the vision for their company thanks to a $5.2 million seed round, according to a press release provided to AfroTech. Led by venture capital firms KB Partners and TitletownTech, the round also received additional backing from 49ers Enterprises, Greycoft, Haslam Sports Group, SC Holdings, Verizon Ventures, and a host of other celebrity investors. This is a huge milestone for both Hawkins and Jones. “The XR [AR and VR] market has seen...

Aug 13, 2021

Xbox's Melissa Boone Is Leveraging Data To Make Room For More People Who Look Like Her In The Gaming Industry

Xbox is continuing to make strides toward a more inclusive gaming community. Research reveals that people who identify as white make up 68 percent of the video game industry. Yet, there’s still 13 percent of that community that is made up of Black, Hispanic/Latinx, Pacific Islander, Indigenous people, and LGBTQ+ communities and Xbox wants to ensure that their content reflects all gamers. In honor of Pride Month, the gaming system is amplifying LGBTQIA+ voices within the industry by championing those who are committed to inclusion and breaking down barriers so that everyone can experience the joys of gaming. One of those voices happens to be Melissa Boone. Boone is a part of the team of behavioral scientists providing user feedback and insights to Xbox’s game development teams. Her role as a research manager on the Xbox Research & Design team allows her and the team to center the user experience around everything that the company develops. For Boone, representation is key in her...

Jun 28, 2021

Xbox's Cierra McDonald Proves Young Black Girls Can See Themselves Within the Gaming Industry

When it comes to the gaming industry, oftentimes Black women are completely left out of the conversation, but not Cierra McDonald. McDonald has worked within the Xbox organization for 13 years and has experience in everything from billing to achievements to documentations. For her, the love of gaming started at a young age when she was first introduced to the world of technology by purchasing a floppy disc of Monkey Island. From there, she learned to navigate DOS through the installation process and the rest is history! Now, as the Principal Program Manager for Xbox at Microsoft, McDonald is on a mission to shift the narrative of Black female characters in the gaming industry. “I think too often folks start with ‘male’ and ‘white’ as the default when envisioning game characters or stories, even if it’s not intentional or done explicitly,” said McDonald in an email interview with AfroTech. “So, that becomes the baseline. When they want to add a female character, she is likely created...

Mar 25, 2021

Saweetie Hosts Inaugural 'Xbox Saweetie Bowl,' Raises $10K For Underserved Youth

Xbox continues its commitment to inclusive storytelling that supports Black gamers and culture creators like the “ICY GRL” herself, Saweetie! On Feb. 4, the gaming company announced its partnership with artist and entrepreneur, Saweetie, for the first-ever “Xbox Saweetie Bowl” gaming competition just ahead of Super Bowl Sunday. “Football is big in my family and this year’s festivities bring all of us together in support of a good cause,” said the “My Type” rapper. Last weekend, Saweetie served as the evening host and commentator at Snoop Dogg’s Inglewood gaming compound. Alongside the ICY hostess was professional gamer XSET JOKE who served as the game’s official advisor and coach. Photo Credit: Spazzz, courtesy of Team Saweetie. Snoop Dogg battled against NFL player Julian Edelman for a West Coast vs. East Coast Battle in an EA Sports Madden NFL 21 tournament on Xbox. Edelman may have walked away as the official 2021 Saweetie Bowl champion, but the real winners were the Snoop Youth...

Feb 5, 2021

Xbox Announces Black History Month Initiatives, Aims to Build a More Inclusive Gaming Community

Xbox is committed to building the most inclusive gaming community on the planet. In an announcement, the gaming system revealed it’s celebrating Black History Month by offering gaming experiences that highlight the contributions of influential Black developers and creators while also raising awareness around causes pertaining to Black communities. The company wrote in a statement: “We believe that small actions from members of the Xbox community can lead to lasting change in the industry, such as speaking up to report and callout racist remarks, learning about Black history and culture, and empowering Black-owned businesses and inclusive creators. By amplifying Black voices, partnering with more Black creators, and continuing to address racial injustice, we strive to contribute to real change in our industry. We are committed to supporting Black audiences across the globe through programs that focus on issues relevant to them.” In June, Team Xbox and the Xbox player community came...

Feb 2, 2021

Microsoft, Warner Bros., Xbox, LeBron James Launch Gaming and Coding Education Campaign For 'Space Jam 2'

Microsoft and Warner Bros. are kicking off an all-star brand partnership with Xbox and NBA superstar LeBron James. The joint campaign is meant to celebrate gaming and coding education, as well as the anticipated release of James’ upcoming 2021 film, “Space Jam: A New Legacy.” In addition to Xbox and James, the campaign launch recruits the film’s characters like Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Looney Tunes Tune Squad to amplify coding education in the gaming world and create an original Xbox arcade-style video game that draws inspiration from the movie, a news release shares. The announcement also shares that Microsoft Stores are helping beginner coders jump-start their creativity by hosting free, one-of-a-kind “Space Jam: A New Legacy”-themed virtual workshops on video game creation. Students will be able to build a playable-prototype of a video game utilizing block-based coding on the MakeCode Arcade platform, while also learning more about the skills and STEAM careers involved in...

Dec 18, 2020

Odell Beckham Jr. Dips His Hand Into the Gaming Industry With New Xbox Controller Collab

Cleveland Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr. is dipping his hand into the gaming world with a new collaboration by way of Xbox. After tearing his ACL back in October, the NFL superstar has focused his time on partnering with Xbox for a new sneaker and controller collaboration inspired by their global Power Your Dreams campaign . Xbox and @obj worked on a custom Air Force 1 Low and controller which will be given away during the holidays 🎮 — B/R Kicks (@brkicks) December 7, 2020 According to an announcement from Xbox, the newly-launched campaign is a nod to the dreaming aspect of gaming culture. For OBJ’s collaboration, the gaming company debuted a “Dream Kit” inclusive of a custom pair of Nike Air Force 1 sneakers and designs for a wireless controller all fitting to his dreams (literally). The announcement also shared the design behind OBJ’s custom Xbox controller and the inside of his custom AF1 shoes were both “inspired by the blazing stars from his dream,”...

Dec 8, 2020